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oh Father, I have never known
disappointment like yours.

the crows that left their feet dented in your drawing board

dive into view as I defy my destiny.

we are reckless because we evolve; we are mortal and motionless and instincts for survival collide at ninety degrees: an instant made solely of broken feathers,

broken glass, and broken blood.

—–

I’ve had this partial poem in medias res stuck in a word document for over 8 years. Like a lot of things in my life, I have no idea how to begin or finish it. So here it is. Something with the potential to come in third place at a poetry reading if only it had a frame.

This is the first time I’m depressed during the summer for no distinct, discernible reason. The variable here is the Seroquel, which is great for the panic disorder, terrible for things like paying attention or enjoying life. Oh, and the being stuck in a poverty trap, because I need to keep my income low to qualify for Medicaid.  ‘Merica.

This is a pretty emotive acoustic piano cover of Brand New’s Jesus Christ:

—-

I’m still an atheist, but I’ve always been fascinated with the cultural power of religious imagery and also as literary archetypes. The doctrines might be bullshit, but stories have staying power for a reason. And that’s the part that interests me. How do you pierce the collective consciousness with your words?

Mary Karr does it pretty damn well in this piece that was obviously about David Foster Wallace:

  I loved so my ghost might inhabit you and you ingest my belief

in your otherwise-only-probable soul. I wonder does your

     death feel like failure to everybody who ever

           loved you as if our collective cpr stopped

too soon, the defib paddles lost charge, the corpse

     punished us by never sitting up. And forgive my conviction

           that every suicide’s an asshole. There is a good reason I am not

God, for I would cruelly smite the self-smitten.

  I just wanted to say ha-ha, despite

           your best efforts you are every second

alive in a hard-gnawing way for all who breathed you deeply in,

     each set of lungs, those rosy implanted wings, pink balloons.

          We sigh you out into air and watch you rise like rain.

We are just interjections, enjambed upon the line breaks of our lives.

Categories: Autobiographical Stories, I arted Tags: depression, jesus christ, mary karr, medication, poem, poetry, religion

I’m still alive, sort of. Still lacking in motivation to produce any form of original content. My blog is like the stepchild in a broken home that I give inconsistent amounts of attention to and can’t decide if I like or not.

Filler post for December.

I’m running out filler material for this place actually; most of the poetry I wrote in high school does not stand the test of time. (Oh, the angst. Never quite The Pain Tree bad, but still cringe-worthy enough to never be shared.) But there was some clever enjambment in here that I still like.

Nerdy, Angry, Fuck

  • Literature / Poetry / Emotional / Free Verse

I think it’s hot when strippers cry on their master’s degrees, when meteorologists make innuendos

when your mother pretends to be Jewish.

Sometimes I wish I had synesthesia so I could palpate youtube’s myriad turtle sex clips with my retinas though I wish there was more to do on a Friday night than watching

ugly animals fuck online.

I have a Dukakis sticker on my teenage mutant ninja turtles lunchbox from 88′ It’s currently filled with positive pregnancy tests, disposable cell phones

and a picture of your mother.

Love insurance premiums:  $99.99 a month!
Good student discounts. Press 1 for more options.

It’s like that time I asked why she didn’t love me anymore and she replied

“supply side economics.”

I told her her metaphor sucked; our relationship had too many uncertainty principles

to be graphed criss-cross on an X and Y axis,

We were more like 2 out-of-sync sine waves reaching for infinity
until the tequila ran out.

Para continuar en las lenguas románticas
oprime el número dos.

I sent a letter of complaint to her new PO Box in MN, asking her to return my soul for the full amount, in the payment method

in which it was received.

She doesn’t know it, but she’s still the spaces between my fingers when I’m clawing for sanity in my sleep and the moment mid-clasp, when I stop. Go limp. Lips.

Categories: I arted Tags: free verse, fuck, love, poem, poetry, writing

Depression has been kicking my ass recently, if it wasn’t obvious already by my normal political commentary having been replaced with long, introspective ramblings about love and sadness.

[Corey Booker is a Senator, and this is one of the few times I really wish I was still a resident of New Jersey. Oh, and apparently the shutdown is ending. Good week for Democrats.]

Here’s a poem that I didn’t write, but saved a long time ago and still like.

khe sanh rivers

by shotgunmessiah. Sep 16, 2003

sometimes when i remember how it was

I’m drinking cheap liquor from a tin cup I

had from the war and I can’t hold it

steady and it falls in the floor, spills out and

runs in the cracks in the wood and

it reminds me of that time in Khe Sanh when it

rained all day, pissing down in the muddy streamers

and collected in little pools and

wore tributaries in the mud and when it

stopped

there was a little girl skinny and naked with

just a rag wrapped around her waist and

she huddled in the waste and shit of the village

when I walked by she looked me with

these huge eyes driven deep in her face and

she held out her hand and said probably the only

word she knew “water” and again

“water” so I give some water in the tin cup I had

and she holds it and stares at her own big

brown eyes and then she crouches down

in the mud and carefully pours the water out

into the ground and flows in the rutted cracks

and makes little rivers

and when they ask me what it was like

I say “follow me” and take a cup and

fill it with water and

I go outside and pour it out in the ground

and they say “what does that mean” and I

point at the water trickling dirty through

the cracks and I say “that’s what it means”

“that’s what it’s about”

and they say I’m crazy and they

go away and leave me dripping water

on the cobblestones and laughing and

there was a little girl in Khe Sanh

who knew the truth even though

she was blown to hell the next day

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: destruction, poetry, rivers, vietnam, war, water, writing

(CC) Creative Commons, attribution, noncommercial, 2005. Candice Hall.

Something for the Boys

by Heather Bell

1. i sure as hell wasn’t east of eden, more like west of grant boulevard in a city that should be burned down. He was test-driving my new car, i was thinking how people are kind of “exit only,” and i’m always the stupid kid jiggling the handle outside for hours.

2. i don’t know if people wear hearts on sleeves anymore. it seems a stupid idea anyway. when you’re drunk and fucking you’re most likely naked too.

3. in the parking lot of walgreen’s an orange cat hit his car’s hood and i jumped, frightened. he was smiling a little when he said he didn’t love me anymore but let’s be friends! let’s get our prescriptions together! let’s be the regularly scheduled program! and still drink pepsi and go to church! in the parking lot of walgreen’s i kept thinking about that cat. like, what if it was homeless. and needed me.

4. i collect magnets on my refrigerator and coffee mugs from displaced little towns. so far i have one mug. and two magnets. i also collect love letters. i have almost the same amount of letters as the amount of blowjobs i have given and handjobs i have given and times i have worked like a drug mule for the united states government. which is not very much.

5. he told me he wanted proof of this love thing i was always talking about. i said here’s your proof you asshole and i flicked him off. some people will just never get it.

6. i just want to love someone like a jew about to be led away to crucifixion.

7. mama tells me its like archeology. at the top is mostly used condoms and old beer bottles. don’t mistake dirt for beauty. unless you want dirt, she says. some people want that, she says. some people do.

8. my most recent finding sleeps in my bed like a roman arch. he told me he might want to live by elephant head road. i think that sounds fine to me. i wonder if you hear them at night, the thunder of their mating so clumsy and outrageous. he says maybe maybe doll baby and trips over our suitcases, laughing.

9. i start collecting postage stamps for all the places we will go. a couple years ago i was dating this guy who had a box in his room labeled “human remains,” but when i opened it there was nothing inside. i’m so glad i no longer know that guy. postage stamps seem much easier to keep track of.

10. i wake up suddenly at four am just to make sure the man i love is still breathing. he finds me in the closet hours later ripping up the love letters, laughing, calling them communist propaganda, mosquito nets, pornographic material. i say look at these, these chain letters. don’t you hate chain letters? so do i. so do i. no one ever replies unless they are really desperate or really in love.

From Heather Bell’s Poetry Collection: “How to Make People Love You.”

Categories: Cool Shit Tags: art, boys, heather bell, love, poem, poetry

I’ve been super busy this week with socializing and job searching, but I have been trying to maintain this blog on a semi-regular basis. When I’m lazy or there’s no interesting news about to comment on, I’ve decided to default to a good autobiographical life advice post.


For those of you that don’t know, I used to write poetry. I never thought it was that good–more like broken prose with clever enjambment. (I never did write a sonnet that I was fully happy with.) There were some cheap PoMo tricks, like line breaking on a word with multiple meanings, that I used very often back then and still do, to some extent, in my prose. But I haven’t written anything that was more poetry than than prose in recent years since non-fiction has consumed my soul.

I will testify that studying classic and modern poetry when I was a teenager has greatly improved my general writing skills as an adult. English profs know it well: When you start analyzing poetry on a functional level below interpretation and meaning, you start paying attention to literary elements like syntax, punctuation, and rhythm. And all writing starts to “flow” better.

Alliteration and assonance all over everything. < See what I did there with “alliteration” and “all?” There are also “v” sounds in “over” and “everything” that create a cohesive sound pattern. (Repetition of consonant sounds is called “consonance.”) These techniques and literary devices work, whether you’re consciously aware of them or not, and this is generally how people judge a work as “good”–based on these literary devices embedded in historical standards.

If you’re a writer, it’s good to be consciously aware of these literary devices (not to be confused with the larger concept of literary techniques), so you can use them to your advantage.

Check out those links that I hyperlinked above if you don’t know anything about poetic devices. If you’re a writer that wants to get better, and you haven’t already, start paying attention to the poetic devices that you already use.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments.

— [Edit: Sorry, I had to manually fix the HTML since it formatted weird after I prematurely submitted.]

Riddle Me Pinks…

  • by ~FireSoulPhoenix, Mar 5, 2007, 7:14:58 PM
  • Candice Hall

Baby takes another hit, she’s passed the point where peripheral vision blurs into her inverted gut and she cries about the virus of society she’s afraid

she’s catching tonight

Baby is an oxymoron,

murphy’s law on mute– the way she’ll waste bootlaces in urinals to see what shape they make when they float leave bumblebee pinstripes and chalk scrawled

half past noon,

I GOT HER PREGNANT
on the changing station

(an ephemeral epithet,
a graffiti-fied gaffe)

Oh baby, “this is the art of perfecting denial,” she’ll exhale before passing to the right because she’s just that much of an insidious

fuck

(her palms drip like the festering manifestoes of bad hair dye jobs

and thrift store sweaters)

Doctor, Doctor, don’t bother it’s Sunday now; she’s alone in a crowd. the children will be coming home for Christmas and she’s

let the cat out again.

Visual piece also from my angsty teen days:

(There were large callouses on my feet in high school, so the pins didn’t hurt.)

Categories: I arted, Knowledge has vagina dentata so don’t you fuck with it Tags: advice, angst, English, literature, poetry, prose, teenager, writing

I feel like what distinguishes me from other writers is my versatility and my ability to open myself to criticism.

One of the places where I began writing was DeviantArt, which before it went for-profit and there was mass administration unrest, drama, and legal issues, used to have a very small, close-knit and talented writing community. These were mostly college students or college graduates, some of whom actually worked in the field.   I made an account there at DA when I was 15, and I wrote awful generic emo swill, the type of poetry found in bulk in high school lit magazines.  I social networked with other inexperienced writers looking for comment circle jerks.

I wasn’t a good writer back then.  But I was young and had the ability to recognize good writing.   I would read the criticism that the talented writers would leave for each other, and I learned.  I learned about the compositional elements that make “good” writing and how to utilize them.

So when I took a class in college called “Lit: Form and Meaning,” I was way ahead of the game, because I had been analyzing form, including poetry, for years longer than my peers had.

I can thank DA for my versatility as a writer.   I can write very professional, persuasive, academic essays.  I can write simple, short, blog entries designed to entertain those with literary ADD.  But if I needed to, I could also write a decent poem in trochaic octameter.  That’s something I don’t think many writers can do.

I can’t really identify my weaknesses as a writer as strongly as I can identify my strengths.  I know that that my grammar isn’t always perfect.  I can be too ambiguous when making arguments and unnecessarily equivocate at times.   Like most “good” writers, I can have an ego, but I try to temper that by opening myself to comments and criticism.

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

Categories: Autobiographical Stories Tags: deviantart, emo poetry, poetry, teenage angst, writer, writer’s block, writers, writing, writing exercise

Helllllllllo wordpress.  Been a while.   Have a poem.   Originally from my deviantart.

When I screamed “BITCH!” after you shot me in the spine,

you were as silent as your gun.

You simply gyrated your shoulders, mouth in a little “O [snap]” shape

and danced.

I didn’t mean it, you know and next time I get the magnum your eyes will bulge, a bovine before a poleaxe

and I’ll aim for your neck.

and it’ll be “CUNT!’ “WHORE!” “SLUT!” “FUCK!”

and so on

until someone has to pee.

At which point the other will unpause and proceed to slaughter

the helpless unmanned man.

Cause gamer girls, unlike boys,

are bitches.

Categories: I arted Tags: bitches, chicks, deviantart, gamer girls, poem, poems for nerds, poetry, videogames